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High Holy Days 5778/2017

For the sake of one true penitent, the whole world is pardoned. - Talmud

Please check back to this page throughout the summer, as we update it with new information!

Services will be held in the sanctuary at Luther Place Memorial Church and the Washington DCJCC. The Break-the-Fast will be held at Washington Plaza Hotel. For more information, see details below or contact us.

Service Leaders

As usual, Bet Mishpachah's innovative and highly participatory High Holy Day services will be co-led by our own Rabbi Laurie Green and our cadre of experienced lay leaders and Darshanim, with Rabbi Ben Shalva serving again as our Hazan (cantor).

Bet Mishpachah's superb Choir and cellist John Kaboff will further enhance services with their beautiful music and will help lift up our prayers, hopes and Kavanot (intentions) for the New Year 5778.


Bet Mishpachah is the only place in town that uses our unique, meaningful and uplifting liturgy -- an elegant, thoughtful mix of tradition and innovation that has been developed over many years by members on our Liturgy Committee, very ably led by Scott Reiter.

Nowhere else will you find the many LGBT readings written by Bet Mishpachah members, the modern translations that speak to us today, the fully egalitarian English and inclusive Hebrew texts, or the Ahavnu prayer, which reinforces the good deeds we have done over the past year. And no other congregation sings the Avinu Malkeinu / Imeinu Sh'chinateinu with such heart-felt emotion and purity.


The month of Elul, which immediately precedes Rosh ha-Shana, is a period of reflection and introspection that helps us prepare for the work of T'shuva (turning) that is our task over the High Holy Days.

To encourage us in this task, the rabbis taught that "Elul" is an acronym for "Ani L'dodi V'dodi Li" -- "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine," from the love poetry of Shir ha-Shirim (Song of Songs). This reminds us of God's love and desire for us as we seek to refocus our lives and become better people and better Jews.

Rabbi Yehuda ha-Levi, a religious and secular poet and philosopher in 11th century Spain who also wrote poems with homoerotic themes, put it like this:

Eternal One, where can I find You?
Your place seems hidden and afar!
But...You are nearer to us than our own bodies and souls...
When I went out towards You,
I found You coming towards me...."

During Elul, which begins on Saturday night, Sept. 3, we recite Psalm 27 and use some of the special High Holy Days melodies in our Shabbat services to help us prepare mentally and emotionally for the New Year.


S'lichot, Saturday, September 16  
10:00 pm    DCJCC

Erev Rosh ha-Shana I, Wednesday, September 20 
8:00 pm       LPMC

Rosh ha-Shana I, Thursday, September 21 
10:00 am      LPMC

Tashlich, Thursday, September 21
5:00 pm        P Street Beach, near 23rd & P Streets NW

Erev Rosh ha-Shana II, Thursday, September 21 
8:00 pm        DCJCC

Rosh ha-Shana II, Friday, September 22 
10:00 am       DCJCC

Erev Shabbat Shuva, September 22 
8:00 pm        DCJCC

Shabbat Shuva Morning, Saturday, September 23 
10:00 am        DCJCC

Kol Nidrei, Friday, September 29
7:00 pm        LPMC

Yom Kippur, Saturday, September 30 
10:00 am      LPMC

Yom Kippur Martyrology & Yizkor 
12:45 pm      LPMC

Yom Kippur Study Session
2:30 pm        LPMC (time approximate; will begin 20 minutes after Yizkor conclusion)

4:45 pm        LPMC

N'ila and Havdala
5:45 pm        LPMC

Break-the-Fast (Advance Reservation Required)
7:00 pm        WPH

Service Locations

Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (DCJCC)
1529 16th Street, NW

Luther Place Memorial Church (LPMC)
1226 Vermont Avenue, NW

Washington Plaza Hotel (WPH)
10 Thomas Circle, NW


All locations are accessible by public transit. To plan your trip by bus or train, please visit the Metro Trip Planner

Sign Language Interpretation

Sign language interpretation for those who are hard of hearing or deaf is available upon request only. Please submit a request to sign@betmish.org.


Parking is available at the Washington Plaza Hotel at 10 Thomas Circle. A very limited number of discount vouchers will be available at the membership table in the LPMC lobby and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


Tickets to our High Holy Day services are a benefit of membership at Bet Mishpachah.  All members who renew or join by September 1, 2017, will receive their tickets by mail.  After that date, High Holy Day tickets will be available for pick up at the “Membership/Will Call” desk prior to services. 

Non-members are welcome to join us for the High Holy Days. We ask for a donation of $225 for a ticket to all services. Tickets for young adults under 30 or full time students are available for a donation of $100. However, as with membership dues, no one is ever turned away due to personal financial constraints, and you are welcome to pay what you are able to afford. Order and pay by PayPal by using the "Purchase Tickets" button below or download, complete, and mail our High Holy Day ticket form to:
Bet Mishpachah
Department 0520
Washington, DC 20073-0520

Those whose requests for tickets are received by September 1 will receive their tickets by mail.  Otherwise, tickets will be available for pick up at the “Membership/Will Call” desk prior to services. 

Instead of making a donation for High Holy Day tickets, consider becoming a member of Bet Mishpachah! Membership includes High Holy Day and Break-the-Fast Tickets. The dues for new members are $180 per person for the first year of membership. People 26 to 30 pay only $54 and those under 26 or full time students pay only $36. Become a new member and obtain High Holy Day tickets too! As our membership page explains, joining Bet Mishpachah is simple -- just fill out the membership form.

Members also receive free tickets for our delicious Break-the-Fast meal after N'ila (Concluding Service) and Havdala at the end of Yom Kippur. To enable better planning of the number of attendees, members are asked this year to provide us with an RSVP to let us know that you will be attending the Break-the-Fast.  Evites will be sent to members who have provided us with an email address.  Alternatively, click here and let us know by email that you plan to attend the Break-the-Fast. (RSVP’s can also be sent by mail to our Lock Box address above.) Tickets will be mailed to members who RSVP by September 1.  After that date, they will be available for pick up at the “Membership/Will Call” desk prior to services.

Break-the-Fast tickets for non-members and extra tickets for members may be purchased in advance for $60.  Order or pay by PayPal using the button below, or download, complete, and mail the High Holy Day ticket form.


Yizkor Booklet

In Jewish tradition, when we write the name of someone we love or respect who has died, we append the Hebrew letters zayin and lamed after their name. This stands for zichrono/zichrona li-v'racha, “may they be remembered as a blessing.” Making a donation to Bet Mishpachah in their memory and having their names published in Bet Mishpachah’s annual Yizkor booklet is one way to do this. Please complete and mail the Yizkor Booklet Form to submit a request. Requests must be received by Friday, September 8, 2017.

Become a HHD Logistics Volunteer

The congregation needs volunteers to help at High Holy Day services to serve as ushers, and to staff the Information, will call, and donations tables. (Please note: only donations positions handle money.) For all logistics volunteers positions, you will need to arrive 30 minutes before services begin. If you are able to help, please contact us with your availability and volunteer interests. Thank you for making these services possible.

Donate to the N Street VIllage Drive 

On Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur morning, the congregation will participate in the 11th annual "Not Just a Food Drive" for N Street Village.  Learn how and what to contribute.